Sunday, July 27, 2008
Last year a friend, who has tried every imaginable sportive activity, took husband and me canoeing. I was hestitant of trying it, considering I am not very athletic and get bored easily - but now I am so glad she talked me into it. The secret to canoeing is making sure your husband is in the same canoe as you are, picking a beautiful landscape to canoe in and bringing a delicious picknick! It isn't boring to say the least and husband makes sure we actually get there and don't tip over.
So last weekend we went with adventurous friend (she will try everything and you don't have to talk her into it either!) and the kids.
The reason the boys are looking so embarrassed are little girlish stars and fish on their life jackets. They tried their hardest to cover them up with their hands.
Daughter was just enjoying the landscape. Not much paddling there...
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I have noticed lately that it gets harder and harder to find shops that take me by surprise. It doesn't matter in which city I am, there they are: the Zaras, the Footlockers, the Ikeas...
the usual stuff. But once in a while I stumble upon a store that is different and new or has withstood the changes of time so long that it becomes special again.
Either way, one can see that the owners put a lot of love, time and ideas into their place. I, of course, often leave with full shopping bags and the hope that the newly discovered place will be still there the next time I stop by.
Delicious chocolates in funny forms and shapes at J.P. Peci, Avenue Notre Dame, Nice, France
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Camping is one of those things most boys love to do. It is also one of those activities I feel I should do with my son but I rather not. Most people tell me it is loads of fun. Being close to nature and listening to animals walk by at night and raindrops hitting the tent and such. But I really rather not.
How perfect that my friend came up with the perfect solution: She invited us over to her house, the boys would put up a tent on the terrace and the girls would sleep on mattresses in the living room. We would leave the doors open so we would be only seperated by a few feet but they would be camping and we would be sleeping well! Problem solved!
But first we had to have a bbq:
And some cocktails for the big girls:
Fire maintained by the boys, notice the smoke:
And then, late at night, they camped out!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Her Papa being gone, daughter is not very pleased with herself or the rest of the world. She woke up grumpy and came back from school being grumpy. Son and I got to feel her grumpiness. I know she is feeling blue and if we lived in Cologne I would have given her a healthy dosage of pink by inviting her to "Toertchen Toertchen" which is one of the most cheerful places I know.
The coffee shop is located in a tiny house and very, very pink. Customers are normally female.
Toertchen Toertchen (Little Cake)
Alte Wallgasse 2a
Living nowhere near Cologne we made our own coffee shop. I offered her a strawberry smoothie and after having the first bite of a chocolate cookie she started feeling better:
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
There is a lady in New York who blogs about her daily breakfast. She makes a breakfast that looks like she put quite some thought into it and then she takes a picture of it. There is no text, just the picture. I forgot how I found this side but she is quite known, she even has a book out!
I am quite fascinated by her meals and at the same time she makes me feel very bad. In our house it is oatmeal for breakfast - if I have the time I will add banana slices. Most mornings I don't have the time.
This lady and her lovingly prepared breakfasts really got me thinking. One day my kids will probably ask me why I never took the time and made anything more special than oatmeal. So this evening, after bringing them to bed I made (with lots of love) redcurrant breakfast muffins. And as proof that for once I put almost as much thought into breakfast as Simply Breakfast
I even took a picture:
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I still remember feeling surprised when I found out, during an ultrasound, that we would be having a son. I don't know anything about little boys! What would we have in common? What would we talk about? Growing up with a sister and being surrounded by little girls in kindergarden and school, having a son is like entering a new world for me.
So, I watch him. I try to learn about Formula 1 and Nascar. I am memorizing the make and names of fast cars. I accept that he and his best buddy have to push and punch each other every time they meet. I overlook the hat on his head that he has worn daily since May. I watch him closely but I still don't get what is going on in a little boy's head.
The thing is, I love his company. It doesn't matter that our interests couldn't differ more. Whenever possible we go to a coffee shop were we will sit with a cappuccino (me) and a piece of chocolate cake (him) and talk. He talks about his favorite soccer team and I listen, and I talk about our next vacation or my job or a purse I want and he listens. He is so much fun to be around even if I still don't get all that "boy stuff".
The other day we went on a walk in a very beautiful area, close to were we live. You walk along a little path, through fields, a forest, gardens, you even pass a little stream. Son asks for my camera and starts taking pictures. For the whole duration of our walk he doesn't talk much and I can see he takes his mission quite seriously. Often he is far behind us, trying to get a good angle of something.
These pictures here, are of our walk, the way son saw it.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Daughter wants a bird. She formed a bird's nest, collected food (redcurrants) and put the whole construction up in a bush. Now she is waiting for a tired mother bird to fly by, see the lovely home, see that even food is provided and lay her eggs in Bella's nest.
Our apartment is also looking for new tenants. Soon people will walk around "our" rooms, picture their own furniture in them and check out the balcony with its unbelievable view. I dread it. We have been very happy here and even so I am glad to move on, a lot of memories are tied to this place. But, while I have no choice but let strangers walk around our home, I will not offer food!
Friday, July 4, 2008
"Youth Revolt" by Lars Lindgren, 13, son of Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstocking)
written December 7, 1939
"It's not easy to be a child, I read in a newspaper the other day. I was amazed for it's not every day you read something in the newspaper that is actually true. It is a revolutionary speaking.
No, it's not easy to be a child! What does it mean then - to be a child? It means that you have to go to bed, get up, get dressed, eat food, brush your teeth and blow your nose when it suits the grown-ups, not when it suits you. It means that you have to eat crisp bread when you'd rather have white bread and that, without batting an eyelid, you have to run down to the milk shop for a gas meter token, just as you've settled down with Edgar T Lawrence. It also means that, without batting an eyelid, you have to listen to each and every grown-up and every grown-up's most personal references to you appearance, state of health, clothing and future plans. I have often wondered what would happen if you started to treat grown-ups in the same way.
Grown-ups have an unpleasant tendency to come with comparisons. They like to talk about their own childhood. From what I understand in the whole history of mankind there has never been such a bunch of well-mannered children as when Mum and Dad grew up. At that time children were really nice. The were never cautioned in school, never got anything other than top marks in all subjects, they always brushed their own shoes and made their beds every day, every morning they washed their ears and neck in cold water, and they liked good and healthy food, especially boiled fish and vegetables. Looking after little brothers and sisters was their utmost desire, and the mere thought of accepting any money for cinema tickets in return was immensely repugnant. In short - their childhood was one long Sunday-school story. It must have been them the poet was thinking of when he wrote that "We picture monarchs in the children we spot, but grown up kings they become not."
My children, if I ever have any, will at least not be told any Sunday-school stories. When they come home on trembling legs with their first cautions, I shall say "Fear ye not! The Swedish record for getting cautioned is held by your father."
The other day I made salad for lunch. I thought it was a particulary delicious salad. Fresh ruccola leaves, baby spinach leaves, intensely smelling herbs, freshly picked, organic cherry tomatoes from Italy, drizzeled with olive oil. It was delicious. Husband ate it, son ate it. Daughter didn't eat it. Daughter decided, as I put the plate in front of her, that she doesn't like tomatoes. I told her to eat them anyways. Half an hour later we were all done but she was still pushing the tomatoes around her plate. I told her she couldn't get up till she was done eating them. I also told her the tomatoes are "good and healthy" (see text on top).
We all left the kitchen being tired of watching her squishing the food but not eating it. When I checked in on her again she sat there, almost done eating, with a mickey - mouse comic in her hand (I guess for distraction) and a pink clothes peg on her nose (I guess to eliminate the taste of the tomatoes). At first I thought her nose had grown to gigantic length and it took me a few seconds to realize what she was doing.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Here is our cake. We ran out of cherries because somebody ate most of them, so we added apricots. Instead of normal flour we used wholemeal and instead of frozen cherries we used fresh ones. It is the healthy version of the Cheery Sheet Cake! We haven't tried it yet but it smells delicious.